FIVB Cancun Hub 2: Just Ross-Klineman, Sponcil-Claes remain in medal contention

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FIVB Cancun 4/25/2021-Tri Bourne
Tri Bourne blocks Viacheslav Krasilnikov/FIVB photo

After a busy Saturday in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, just two USA women’s pairs remain in the second of three 4-star FIVB Cancun Hub pro beach volleyball tournaments.

April Ross and Alix Klineman and Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes are still in medal contention, while Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat, Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb, and Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena were all ousted.

That sets up a quarterfinals Sunday that has Claes and Sponcil playing at 1 p.m. local time (U.S. Central) and Klineman and Ross playing at 3:

Women
Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink Netherlands (21) vs. Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil USA (19, Q2)
Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa Brazil (1) vs. Lena Plesiutschnig/Katharina Schutzenhofer Austria (25)
Alix Klineman/April Ross USA (4) vs. Fan Wang/Xinyi Xia China (9)
Svetlana Kholomina/Nadezda Makroguzova Russia (6) vs. Karla Borger/Julia Sude Germany (17)
Men
Anders Mol/Christian Sorum Norway (1) vs. Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak Poland (25, Q6)
Steven van de Velde/Christiaan Varenhorst Netherlands (16) vs. Alison Cerutti/Alvaro Filho Brazil (4)
Stefan Boermans/Yorick de Groot Netherlands (31, Q30) vs. Adrian Carambula/Enrico Rossi Italy (7)
Cherif Samba/Ahmed Tijan Qatar (10) vs. Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai Italy (14)

FIVB Cancun 4/25/2021-Alix Klineman
Alix Klineman spikes in the round of 16/FIVB photo

Ross and Klineman began with a straight-set win over Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Cinja Tillmann (21-15, 21-13) to earn a first-round bye. They kept it going with a three-set win over Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho (19-21, 21-11, 15-11).

The Americans gained an early advantage in the third with a three-point run. Klineman roofed Artacho for 7-4, Ross dug Clancy’s spike on two, then tooled her block for 8-4, and Klineman sealed Clancy’s crosscourt angle for a 9-4 block. The lead would hold for a 15-11 decision.

FIVB Cancun 4/25/2021-Kelly Claes
Kelly Claes celebrates with Sarah Sponcil/FIVB photo

Sponcil and Claes continue to make the most of their opportunity after failing to qualify in the first Hub event. Saturday, they failed to win their pool after a three-set loss to the Netherlands’ Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam (22-20, 16-20, 15-10). Team Slaes turned it around, defeating both Cuba’s Lidiannis Echeverria and Yanisleidis Sanchez (21-14. 21-16) and Switzerland’s Nina Betschart and Tanja Huberli (21-16, 21-13).

Tough serving, Claes’ blocking, and Sponcil’s defense kept the Swiss frustrated. The USA jumped out with sizeable leads, 9-4 in the first and 15-6 in the second. Claes and Sponcil were guaranteed a fifth-place finish when Huberli and Betschart alternated hitting errors to close out the match.

FIVB Cancun 4/25/2021-Brooke Sweat
Brooke Sweat finds a way around the block of China’s Fan Wang/FIVB photo

Walsh Jennings and Sweat finished tied for ninth. They broke out of pool with a 21-16, 21-18 win over the Netherlands’ Emi and Maxime van Driel. In bracket play, they upset Brazil’s Rebecca Cavalcanti and Ana Patricia Silva (18-21, 21-14, 22-20) before falling short against China’s Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia (21-18, 21-18).

The match against China was close throughout the early part of the set, but the Americans had difficulty siding out at the end, giving up three-point runs late in each set. The 400 Olympic qualifying points they earned are not enough to drop another result, with their lowest finish currently at 480.

FIVB Cancun 4/25/2021-Emily Stockman
Emily Stockman passes/FIVB photo

Kelley Kolinske and Emily Stockman were eliminated in their pool by the Australia’s Clancy and Artacho (21-16, 21-13). Clancy’s serving and blocking opened up several runs that the Americans couldn’t match. The loss puts them out in 17th place, worth 320 Olympic qualifying points. Their Qinzhou 360-point finish is their lowest.

Both USA men’s teams also tied for ninth.

FIVB Cancun 4/25/2021-Trevor Crabb
Trevor Crabb follows the ball after a split block against Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov/FIVB photo

Bourne and Trevor Crabb fell to top-seeded Norwegians Anders Mol and Christian Sorum (21-19, 21-19). At the same time, Dalhausser and Lucena were defeated by the Netherlands’ Steven van de Velde and Christiaan Varenhorst (21-13, 26-24).

Bourne and Trevor Crabb had a day of deuce sets. Their playoffs began with a 21-19, 21-19 upset of the reigning world champions and second-seeded Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy of Russia.

If playing the No. 2 seeds in the first round wasn’t enough, their second-round opponents were top-seeded Norwegians Mol and Sorum. This time the deuce sets went the other way, with the Americans ending up in ninth place after a 21-19, 21-19 loss.

And if you think that having to play the two top tournament seeds in the first rounds of playoffs is unfair, talk to the FIVB, whose policy is to seed playoffs randomly, ignoring all previous competitive seeding data.

Bourne and Crabb finished ninth, good for 400 points in the Olympic qualification race. They will replace their Warsaw 360-point finish, adding 40 points to their totals.

FIVB Cancun 4/25/2021-Phil Dalhausser
Phil Dalhausser hits against the Netherlands’ Christiaan Varenhorst/FIVB photo

Dalhausser and Lucena had an easier road Saturday, beginning with the coveted first-round bye. Their second-round opponent was van de Velde and Varenhorst of the Netherlands. The 6-foot-11 Varenhorst and van de Velde, a 6-6 defender with a whip of a swing, played well beyond their No. 16 seed. 

The first set was all Netherlands, with van de Velde pounding high-velocity topspin serves to a 21-13 score.

The second set began much the same way, with van de Velde forcing the issue at the service line to create a 7-2 advantage. The Americans slowly crept back, tying the score at 11-all. The Dutch would score first, going up 19-18 on a van de Velde dig and spike. 

Fittingly, the Dutch would finally close the match out on the seventh matchpoint on a big middle-to-middle van de Velde jump serve from the good side.

Dalhausser and Lucena’s finish is good for 400 Olympic qualifying points, adding 160 points by replacing their 240-point Xiamen result, which extends their lead over Bourne and Trevor Crabb by 120 points.

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Results courtesy of BVBinfo.com
WOMEN
Pool A, Round 2
Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova Czech Republic (16) def. Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa Brazil (1) 21-18, 21-11 (0:35)
Karla Borger/Julia Sude Germany (17) def. Maria Quintero/Susana Torres Mexico (32) 21-11, 21-16 (0:33)
Pool B, Round 2
Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan Canada (2) def. Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson Canada (18) 21-19, 24-22 (0:48)
Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings USA (15) def. Emi van Driel/Mexime van Driel Netherlands (31, Q26) 21-16, 21-18 (0:39)
Pool C, Round 2
Raisa Schoon/Katja Stam Netherlands (30, Q21) def. Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil USA (19, Q2) 16-21, 25-23, 15-11 (0:56)
Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy Australia (3) def. Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman USA (14) 21-16, 21-13 (0:41)
Pool D, Round 2
Alix Klineman/April Ross USA (4) def. Chantal Laboureur/Cinja Tillmann Germany (20) 21-15, 21-13 (0:36)
Esmee Bobner/Zoe Verge-Depre Switzerland (29, Q20) def. Tina Graudina/Anastasija Kravcenoka Latvia (13) 19-21, 21-19, 19-17 (0:59)
Pool E, Round 2
Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima Brazil (5) def. Carolina Salgado/Barbara Seixas Brazil (12, Q1) 21-17, 20-22, 15-13 (1:04)
Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink Netherlands (21) def. Lezana Placette/Alexia Richard France (28, Q11) 21-7, 21-13 (0:31)
Pool F, Round 2
Svetlana Kholomina/Nadezda Makroguzova Russia (6) def. Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Silva Brazil (11) 23-21, 21-17 (0:40)
Lidiannis Echeverria/Yanisleidis Sanchez Cuba (27, Q8) def. Ana Gallay/Fernanda Pereyra Argentina (22) 19-21, 21-15, 15-10 (0:53)
Pool G, Round 2
Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli Switzerland (10) def. Margareta Kozuch/Laura Ludwig Germany (7) 21-18, 21-18 (0:44)
Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami Japan (26) def. Katarzyna Kociolek/Kinga Wojtasik Poland (23) 21-17, 21-13 (0:40)
Pool H, Round 2
Fan Wang/Xinyi Xia China (9) def. Lena Plesiutschnig/Katharina Schutzenhofer Austria (25) 21-15, 21-17 (0:41)
Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider Germany (24, Q3) def. Zaira Orellana/Martha Revuelta Mexico (8) 21-13, 21-16 (0:36)
Winners bracket
Round 1
Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink Netherlands (21) def. Margareta Kozuch/Laura Ludwig Germany (7) 21-16, 21-15 (0:40)
Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil USA (19, Q2) def. Lidiannis Echeverria/Yanisleidis Sanchez Cuba (27, Q8) 21-14, 21-16 (0:38)
Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa Brazil (1) def. Esmee Bobner/Zoe Verge-Depre Switzerland (29, Q20) 21-13, 24-22 (0:40)
Lena Plesiutschnig/Katharina Schutzenhofer Austria (25) def. Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami Japan (26) 21-16, 21-16 (0:41)
Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy Australia (3) def. Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson Canada (18) 21-15, 16-21, 16-14 (0:56)
Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings USA (15) def. Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Silva Brazil (11) 18-21, 21-14, 22-20 (0:55)
Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider Germany (24, Q3) def. Carolina Salgado/Barbara Seixas Brazil (12, Q1) 21-18, 15-21, 15-11 (1:04)
Karla Borger/Julia Sude Germany (17) def. Chantal Laboureur/Cinja Tillmann Germany (20) 21-16, 25-23 (0:44)
Round 2
Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink Netherlands (21) def. Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova Czech Republic (16) 21-16, 21-18 (0:36)
Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil USA (19, Q2) def. Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli Switzerland (10) 21-16, 21-13 (0:34)
Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa Brazil (1) def. Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima Brazil (5) 15-21, 21-19, 15-10 (0:48)
Lena Plesiutschnig/Katharina Schutzenhofer Austria (25) def. Raisa Schoon/Katja Stam Netherlands (30, Q21) 23-21, 19-21, 16-14 (0:54)
Alix Klineman/April Ross USA (4) def. Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy Australia (3) 19-21, 21-11, 15-11 (0:49)
Fan Wang/Xinyi Xia China (9) def. Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings USA (15) 21-18, 21-18 (0:39)
Svetlana Kholomina/Nadezda Makroguzova Russia (6) def. Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider Germany (24, Q3) 21-11, 21-18 (0:35)
Karla Borger/Julia Sude Germany (17) def. Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan Canada (2) 21-14, 21-15 (0:38)
MEN
Winners bracket, Round 1
Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb USA (19, Q1) def. Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy Russia (2) 21-19, 21-19 (0:43)
Andre Loyola/George Wanderley Brazil (20) def. Yannick Harms/Julius Thole Germany (22) 21-16, 20-22, 15-7 (1:00)
Steven van de Velde/Christiaan Varenhorst Netherlands (16) def. Florian Breer/Marco Krattiger Switzerland (26, Q9) 22-24, 21-19, 15-12 (1:03)
Ilya Leshukov/Konstantin Semenov Russia (17) def. Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner Czech Republic (6) 20-22, 21-16, 15-7 (0:55)
Stefan Boermans/Yorick de Groot Netherlands (31, Q30) def. Josue Gaxiola/Jose Rubio Mexico (8) 21-17, 21-13 (0:38)
Grant O’Gorman/Ben Saxton Canada (24) def. Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera Spain (12) 15-21, 21-15, 17-15 (0:54)
Cherif Samba/Ahmed Tijan Qatar (10) def. Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen Netherlands (13) 21-17, 21-16 (0:38)
Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai Italy (14) def. Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek Poland (5) 21-18, 21-12 (0:37)
Winner’s bracket, Round 2
Anders Mol/Christian Sorum Norway (1) def. Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb USA (19, Q1) 21-19, 21-19 (0:39)
Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak Poland (25, Q6) def. Andre Loyola/George Wanderley Brazil (20) 21-17, 22-20 (0:46)
Steven van de Velde/Christiaan Varenhorst Netherlands (16) def. Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena USA (11) 21-13, 26-24 (0:45)
Alison Cerutti/Alvaro Filho Brazil (4) def. Ilya Leshukov/Konstantin Semenov Russia (17) 21-14, 18-21, 22-20 (1:01)
Stefan Boermans/Yorick de Groot Netherlands (31, Q30) def. Maciej Rudol/Jakub Szalankiewicz Poland (30, Q20) 21-14, 26-24 (0:44)
Adrian Carambula/Enrico Rossi Italy (7) def. Grant O’Gorman/Ben Saxton Canada (24) 21-16, 21-16 (0:37)
Cherif Samba/Ahmed Tijan Qatar (10) def. Mirco Gerson/Adrian Heidrich Switzerland (21) 21-16, 19-21, 15-8 (0:52)
Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai Italy (14) def. Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins Latvia (18) 21-15, 22-20 (0:41)

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